Welcome to Season 2 of the Magic Maker Podcast
If you’re listening to this podcast as it goes live, it’s February. A perfect time for transition, for a new season, a fresh start. For most entrepreneurs this time of year is like a free pass to catch up on all the stuff that fell by the wayside during the busy holiday season. I find this time of year really exhilarating because there is FINALLY time and space to do the bigger-picture thinking.
No matter what time of year you’re listening though…
I think it’s always important to take time to rise up out of the daily grind of your business to think about big picture stuff. Sometimes we need permission – or even a bit of accountability to do that – so consider this your official ‘hall pass’ to jump out of class and wander around for a little while in your imagination and higher-level brain (you know, the one that isn’t being utilized when you’re just putting out fires all the time!)
I am so excited to kick this second season of the Magic Maker podcast off with some foundational ideas about what it means to be an entrepreneur. I believe the concepts I am going to introduce to you today are profoundly helpful to achieve one of the most valuable gifts I aim to give the entrepreneurs I work with – and that is clarity. A more simple, clear lens through which to view all the moving parts and complicated thought patterns of ‘entrepreneuring’.
Today I am going to introduce you to the the forces I believe are working for or against our success, so that you can begin to wrap your head around navigating them in a more purposeful way. In my experience this not only brings better results (like more money and more productivity) but it also reduces stress and increases joy and flow. Basically I think these laws are THE ANSWER to shift from looking at one piece of your business at a time, to mastering the skill of entrepreneuring… the very complex and challenging art of ‘doing it all, all at once’ with more grace, ease and efficacy.
This episode is kicking off a season that is going to be full to the brim with some very practical, actionable concepts that I hope will help break down some marketing myths, eliminate some fear and give you some super simple steps to help you build your brand, and make the most of your unlimited potential.
Now if you’re listening in your car, or on your dog walk, or while you’re working out – make sure you do circle back and visit the show notes for this, episode 11, on jnicholesmith.com – because we have a wonderful FREE workbook there to help you actually USE the concepts I’m introducing you today. Trust me, your head will be going crazy at the end so that will be a really useful resource to help you channel all that energy into some great action for your business.
Ok, so without further ado… I am thrilled to introduce you to the 5 Laws of Entrepreneurship.
Let’s make some magic, shall we?
The 5 Laws of Entrepreneurship
I have been making money as an entrepreneur for nearly 20 years. One of my earliest side hustles included making greeting cards and creating customized local photography packaging for luxury lotions and soaps – all of which I sold to and through a gift stop in the tourist town where I lived during college. I’ve always had my eye out for ways to use my skills to add value to a product or turn a profit.
As it turns out, I didn’t finish my first degree… After 3 years at 4 universities and colleges, I quit school to start my first official business as a photographer and graphic designer. That was in 2005 and it was at least 4 years before the horrible daily decisions about which bills to pay, and which ones not to, started to subside.
I had crippling debt, drove a crappy car, I lived with roommates, had no health insurance, and the only expense I never compromised on was the ridiculously expensive food I fed my best friend, a Great Dane named Olivia. She ate like a queen… I pretty much subsisted on pasta roni and eggs. Eventually my story evolved into one where I evolved from just scraping by, to building not just one, but a few 6 and 7-figure businesses. I upgraded my lifestyle in just about every way possible… but – as I’ve learned over the last decade plus of experience, research, exploration and growth, no matter how unrecognizable my life, experience and business is now from the way it was in 2005, the same 5 laws that dictated my success then, still apply to me now.
These are the natural elements of entrepreneurship – the natural, universal principles that every small business owner is influenced by. You don’t get to opt in or opt out of these laws… you can try to ignore them… but these laws are as formidable as the laws of physics, their consequences are as unavoidable as gravity.
I have spent my entire career as an entreprenuer, my years earning a masters in marketing, the weeks spent writing and researching my books, and the 10,000+ hours I’ve spent engaged in conversations with entrepreneurs about their own struggles and victories, trying to define and outline the shapes of these laws, and put them into words. I believe I have finally been able to find their edges, so we can name and explain them, and today I’d like to share them with you.
These 5 LAWS of ENTREPRENEURSHIP are:
In future episodes I will go into more detail about each of these laws, but for now I just want to get you acquainted with these masters of your success.
It often surprises people that Mindset is the first law, above money. When you’re an entrepreneur, money often feels like the #1 overlord of our success or happiness – and certainly it is the reason any business exists – but in reality – it is less impactful than your ability to show up as a confident leader of your business and your day. Equally, your mindset will have a GREAT DEAL to do with how much money you earn and spend, and so it is in fact the #1 law.
I began this Magic Maker podcast with 9 episodes very heavy in mindset – focusing on ideas around self-love and scarcity – for a very purposeful reason. As an entrepreneur – when you are the boss, and sometimes the entire team, one of the most important indicators of your success, will be your ability to live in ‘enoughness’ instead of scarcity.
Dr. Brené Brown famously describes this state as ‘wholeheartedness’ – which does sound a bit fluffy in the context of business – but I assure you – your success as a business owner, a boss, a producer of products or services, a handler of conflict and chaos, and most especially an earner of money – will be dictated by this ability to stay out of the ‘not enough time, not enough money, i’m not enough’ zone. This is priority number one.
Now, onto the big shiny elephant in the room. Money. Very connected with the first law, Mindset, the way we think about, manage, invest and earn money is obviously essential to our success as entrepreneurs. It’s also quite essential to our success as adults in general – but when it comes to money – most of us have to overcome deeply ingrained beliefs and habits in order to be logical and not emotional about earning, spending and saving money.
Businesses only exist for one reason, and that is to earn revenue. This is a cold hard fact. Now, I help people build brands instead of just businesses, because Brands are businesses with the added topper of a bit more humanity. Specially I talk about building ‘brands that matter’ – which I believe have personalities, they want to do good, make a difference, have a bit of fun and engage in the world as and with people, instead of simply as money making machines.
But regardless of whether you’re building a plain ol’ business, or a beautiful brand that matters – at the heart of it, one of your core capabilities has got to be earning more and more revenue. This seems to be the law that most people fear the most. But don’t worry, in this season we’re going to explore some really simple, pain-free ways to begin to strengthen this law. The first place to start, is to explore your feelings about money, and to try to get more clear on the areas where you have good habits and a healthy mindset, and the areas where you can see the most room for improvement.
Now, this law is another one that seems to be very unpopular! Most of the entrepreneurs I meet either try to avoid marketing all together, or actively really dislike or fear it. Now, one point I want to make early, is that EVERYTHING (and I mean everything) that leads to revenue in your business, is marketing. So if you’re someone who says you hate marketing and wonder why you’re not making more money – you can bet the two are connected! But, marketing does not have to be painful, complicated, sleezy or manipulative. In fact the best most effective marketing is none of those things! Marketing is simply turning conversations, into action. Turning communications into conversions.
Marketing is all about helping your clients and encouraging to to change their behavior – essentially getting someone from not knowing you exist, to becoming someone who buys from you and better yet, tells all their friends how great you are.
At it’s core, marketing is simply about showing up as the solution to people’s problems, and the answer to their desires. Marketing is about truly understanding the people you serve and what motivates them, and showing up as someone who is easy for them to say yes to. Sure there are lots of strategies and tactics that can go into this whole process – but just remember – for entrepreneurs the best marketing is simply a very sincere set of conversations.
One of my favorite things to do in my business is to help break marketing down into something less scary – and certainly you’ll find LOTS of resources here where we aim to do that for you.
But marketing, a bit like money, IS something you’re going to have to look at and try to reframe for yourself as interesting, and dare I say it, FUN, if you’re going to find the ease you’re looking for as you grow your business.
Entrepreneurs seem to love this law because for most of us, it’s all about doing the thing we set out to do in the first place. Make the product, deliver the service, serve the customer… generally, this law is all about gettin shit done. Most of us gravitate towards this law because it feels easier – it doesn’t require the mental or emotional work of the first 3 – and it’s a place where simply being busy can feel like progress. However, it’s also clearly an essential part of running a business- they key is not to ignore the other four laws and focus on this one exclusively – which seems to be the default behavior for most entrpreneurs. We put our head down and grind it out – feeling like surely the more tasks we tick off and the more we obsess over the quality of our product, the more success we deserve. But this law is also hugely about opportunities increase efficiency – delegation and automation become important parts of the conversation around mechanics – which does usually back up to Mindset as we start to face the realities of learning to let go, ask for help. heal our perfectionism, and manage our feelings of ‘not enough time’ and ‘not enough money’ that deter us from building teams or hiring help.
Momentum is the law that sort of sums up the other 4- it’s basically our ability to consistently show up. Many of us spend a lot of time looking for shortcuts and hacks to our vision of success and freedom, but the reality is, you’ve got to put in the hours. This can be a real challenge many days as we ride the emotional roller-coaster of entrepreneurship. Without fully understanding the other 4 laws, and investing in ourselves with habits like planning, reviewing the data in our marketing, regularly doing the deeper work to fuel a healthy mindset (yes, unfortunately that work is never done, it just keeps changing!) – we find ourselves in a jerky, depressing ‘stop’ ‘start’ mentality that never really allows our efforts to build upon themselves. Thus leading us to frustration and burnout. One of the real secrets of momentum is to focus on IT as the goal, rather than JUST individual results. We’ll dive more into just how to do this as the season moves forward.
Ok. Whew. Take a deep breath, wiggle your shoulders…. I know that’s a lot for today… but I wanted to really take you through each of these laws. I know you’ve probably got lots of thoughts and questions swirling around, so I have to simple actions for you:
FIRST: Grab this SUPER helpful resource to help you identify exactly where you’re at now within these 5 laws and give you super handy next steps to grow.
SECOND: Head on over to our private free community in Facebook where you can chat with me and my team and our wonderful group of #enchantedrebels who are diligently building brands that matter instead of just businesses. It’s a wonderful community:
Inside we’ve got some helpful getting started resources, and a tremendous community to help support you along the way.
That’s it for this episode of the Magic Maker podcast – welcome to the headquarters of entrepreneurs who want to do good, be real, find happy and build brands that matter.
We’re thrilled you’re here.
Next week we’re going to create the vision to help guide your planning and your journey managing and mastering the 5 Laws – for this year and beyond. We are going to ask one really important question… what if it were EASY? – make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it.
We would be so grateful if you would leave us a review for this podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen, so we can reach more magic makers and help them too, to change their lives, and the world.